Monday, May 5, 2008


We tend to think of space horizontally. Even in mountains, which intrude on space but don’t, in their elevation, constitute space. Space is area. But that is a perspective. From another, space is three dimensional. Add time and get a fourth. There are non-Euclidian geometries with even more.

This blog is about space and place, and it occurs to me now that its structure is spatially vertical, like sediment: each new entry added to the top of the last, building up like muck on a pond floor.

How does this spatial structure organize, and in that way influence, a reader’s perceptions and understandings of the material? What is read first, second, and third? Instead of reading it forward chronologically, one is constrained to read it backward.

The same question might apply to the way we experience urban space, which is striated by streets and sidewalks, angled at corners, blocked by walls and fences: in a city we are water in a network of canals. Perhaps that is why Amsterdam seems so familiar even seeing it for the first time.
(Desert photo: Snapfire Images; Drawing: H.P. Berners, 1985.)

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